What do we do at St Thomas More to develop students' reading?
- Promote a reading culture across the school where all staff ensure they foster the core skills of reading.
- Encourage wider reading to broaden students' ability to learn new information and to support students in different subject areas.
- Ensure that students can access work across the curriculum, and reading is a key attribution of this. We provide students with opportunities to develop their reading skills as part of the taught curriculum.
- Set aside time for students to read. This is completed twice a week and involve topics which can be discussed and debated by students.
- Provide summer transition reading support for year six students who join St Thomas More. Alongside this, we also provide summer transition support for parents to help aid their child with reading.
- Offer students the opportunity to take part in reading and writing competitions hosted by the English faculty.
- As staff, we regularly share what we are reading with students and book recommendations are included in our weekly newsletter.
- For our weakest readers, we have targeted intervention programmes.
- Peer reading
- A focus on Tier 2 and tier 3 subject specific vocabulary https://learningspy.co.uk/literacy/closing-language-gap-building-vocabulary/
- Hold book fairs
- Planned reading days
- Reading challenges such as the World Cup and and Christmas reading competitions
What reading looks like at St Thomas More...
Read like a 'Scholar' statements are evident in the front of all books.
- Topic sheets with recommended reads are provided in the front of all exercise books in KS3 and KS4.
- Fortnightly reading lessons for KS3 students with a reading booklet to monitor students' progress.
- Approach texts differently, for example focusing on extracts rather than reading the whole text.
- Differentiated reading for both fiction and nonfiction.
- Structure strips to approach reading - reading for meaning.
- Tier 2 and Tier 3 words for each topic are set for home learning along with spellings at KS3.
- Smaller support with reading groups.
- Generally promoting reading through reading and writing competitions.
- Faculty representative for leading and supporting reading across the subject area.
What teachers are reading this month....
Mrs Quinney - Teacher of Geography
"One of my favourite books is Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher, I first read it when I was about 16 and loved it as it's the story of a young girl called Judith growing up in Cornwall before and during the Second World War. She is taken in by the Carey-Lewis family and it tells the story of how she grows to be part of their family and then how she joins the forces and travels abroad.
I love History and the story and characters make you want to be part of the wonderful Carey-Lewis family. The descriptions of Cornwall always make me think of summer and there is just the right mix of sadness and joy to really keep you reading. It's also over 1000 pages which I love as I know it will take me a while to read and enjoy and no matter how many times I read the book I get something new from it!!"
Book Recommendations of the Week
This week is all about mysteries! They require a clever protagonist who piece together clues while taking on something big and bad - and getting home in time for dinner! Mysteries are great to get your teeth stuck into, these reccommended reads are both exciting and empowering.
Enola Holmes: The Case of the Missing Marquess By Nancy Springer
Enola Holmes is the quintessential middle grade mystery. It features a teenage girl (who is Sherlock Holmes’ little sister) who takes matters into her own hands when her mother goes missing, and no one can figure out where she went. After outwitting her brothers and caretakers, she heads to London to look for her mom but ends up in the middle of a second mystery — the kidnapping of a marquess.
Tornado Brain By Cat Patrick
Frankie is neurodivergent and has a tough time making friends. She had one friend — Colette — but not anymore. When Colette vanishes after an unexpected visit to Frankie’s house, and it seems Frankie was the last person to see her, Frankie becomes convinced that her ex-friend left clues for her to follow. She persuades her sister to help her unravel the clues and find Colette before it's too late.
StormBreaker by Anthony Horowitz
Everyone says his uncle died in a car accident, but bullet holes tell Alex Rider a different story. He finds out his uncle was a spy, and when M16 sees his potential, Alex gets recruited and armed with various gadgets to help find his uncle’s killers. The first book in the Alex Reider Series, StormBreaker series is like a teenage James Bond.